Microsoft integrates auto-updating into latest PowerToys release

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 30, 2020

Microsoft revealed some time ago that it was working on an open source revival of the company's classic PowerToys collection of tools.

The current version of PowerToys, still at version 0.17.0 at the time of writing, includes several tools already that users may use individually or altogether. Tools can be loosely divided into small helper tools, e.g. better renaming and resizing functionality that is integrated into File Explorer, and standalone tools like the window layouts tool FanzyZones or the text-based Alt-Tab search tool Window Walker.

One of the shortcomings of the new PowerToys was that it included no updating functionality. The Settings application includes an option to check for updates under General Settings, but that loads the releases page on GitHub only. Microsoft considers integrating a direct check when users activate the button but that functionality is not available in the latest version of PowerToys.

windows powertoys auto-update

Microsoft released PowerToys 0.17 this week and with it functionality to update the program automatically. The developers note that auto-updating was a much requested feature by users of the software.

PowerToys 0.17 and newer checks for updates and will display an installation prompt when a new update is discovered. Users need to click on "install" to install the update at the time. Microsoft wants to monitor feedback to find out if the system needs adjustments.

One of the shortcomings in regards to auto-update functionality is that it is not possible right now to block the update checks. The only option that should work is to block PowerToys connections in a firewall application. It is unclear whether Microsoft will integrate an update check switch in the application's settings at a later point in time.

Closing Words

The integration of update checks to update PowerToys automatically may be welcome by the majority of users; part of the userbase will dislike the missing option to block the program from checking for updates. Microsoft should consider adding the option to the settings to provide users with options to disable update checking if they don't want the program to do that automatically.

Now You: Have you tried PowerToys? What is your take?

Microsoft integrates auto-updating into latest PowerToys release
Article Name
Microsoft integrates auto-updating into latest PowerToys release
The latest Microsoft PowerToys version, PowerToys 0.17, introduces support for automatic updates in the application for Windows 10.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. John C. said on May 1, 2020 at 8:58 am

    “The developers note that auto-updating was a much requested feature by users of the software.” I can’t begin to describe to you how much I believe that remark is a fallacy. Given all the nightmares that forced updating has caused for Windows 10, I absolutely do not believe that anybody in their right mind would ever wish for such a thing. Instead, what we’re seeing here is more spin-doctoring by M$. Also, I have never seen a more worthless set of Powertoys. There isn’t a single thing that this latest version can do that I find of the slightest value.

  2. Pardon Me said on May 1, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Do they now also include extensive invasive telemetry and private data gathering, on full-level by default, with no option to completely disable, like Windows, Office, Visual Studio?

  3. Trey said on May 1, 2020 at 12:09 am

    For me at least, nothing yet too compelling in these powertools. Similar apps have been around for a while doing it better in most cases. Still though, look forward to them being added to and glad they’re open source.

  4. anon said on April 30, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    I’d much prefer if they also shipped it through the store.

    1. Yuliya said on April 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      Not everyone has acces to MS store. I don’t.

      1. anon said on April 30, 2020 at 4:44 pm

        I didn’t mean only through store, i specified “also”.

      2. Yuliya said on April 30, 2020 at 5:55 pm

        Ah, right, my bad.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.